Andrew Johnston's Publications


My book "A Hacker's Guide to Project Management" acts as a guide through the maze of Project Management. It’s aimed specifically at those managing a project or leading a team for the first time, but it will also help more experienced managers who are either new to software development, or dealing with a new part of the software life-cycle.

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Buy It Now!

My earlier books "The Illustrated Lotus 1-2-3 for Windows" and "The Illustrated Microsoft Access" are now sadly out of print. If you're a late adopter who really wants a copy, contact me and I'll see what I can do!

My 1992 paper "Muzzling the Alligators: a Pragmatic Approach to Quality" appears with a number of excellent papers on Software Quality and Testing by various authors in the Unicom book "Management and Measurement of Software Quality", edited by Mike Kelly and published in 1993 by Avebury Technical, ISDN 0 291 39801 4.


Conference and Forum Papers

Practical Enterprise Integration (for EAC 2011)

Here's the paper I presented at the Enterprise Architecture Conference in London in June 2011, on the topic of how an Enterprise Application Integration scheme develops, evolves and can deliver solid benefits. It also explains the benefits of a strong canonical architecture, to realise the benefits of "hub and spoke" architectures at a logical as well as a physical level.

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Agile Architecture (for EAC 2006)

This is the paper I presented at the Enterprise Architecture Conference in London in June 2006. It’s about a couple of different things. Firstly, it’s about what we, as architects, can learn from agile development practices, so that we start working in an agile way. Whether the development teams follow agile methods themselves or not, this shows how architects can get a great deal of benefit from agile ideas.

The paper is also about making the architecture itself agile, able to “embrace change”. This doesn’t happen by accident, it happens by design, and the paper suggests ways to make this happen.

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Modelling an Enterprise Data Architecture

Unlike the simplistic models in books and training courses, a real enterprise has a very complicated data architecture. Most of the data will be held in large legacy or package systems, for which the details of data structure may be unknown. Other data will be held in spreadsheets and personal databases (such as Microsoft Access), and may be invisible to the IT department or senior business data administrators.  Some key data may reside in external systems maintained by service providers or business partners. To manage this you need powerful, simple, but effective models of the data structure from an enterprise viewpoint -- a set of models known as the “Enterprise Data Architecture.”

This article, co-written by Richard Wiggins and originally published in the IBM Rational Edge magazine in February 2003 describes a new approach, based on UML, which meets the real requirements of modeling the Enterprise Data Architecture.

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Strategies for Flexibility

Organisations need to protect and maximise the value of their IT assets. To protect against threats from business and technological change systems need to be flexible: able to change to support new functions, new workloads and new working environments. Flexibility does not happen by accident - it is usually the result of planning, forward thinking and adopting strategies known to enhance and encourage it. 

This paper, originally published by the CBDi Forum, presents some of those strategies.

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Getting the System Sizing and Performance Test Right (EuroStar '96)

I co-authored this paper with my very dear friend, the late Steve Hazeltine, for the EuroStar '96 Software Testing Conference in Amsterdam. We also presented substantially the same paper at the May 1997 British Computer Society Testing Special Interest Group meeting.

The paper describes how we successfully specified the server required for the ported Rental Systems at Livingston UK, the European leader in providing services to users of electronic equipment and computers. A primary business activity is the rental of electronic equipment and computers, much of which is conducted over the telephone, so response times are key to the business. We therefore had to be sure that the new system would perform at least as well as the old one without wasting money through over-specified hardware. The paper suggests a practical and pragmatic approach to system sizing and performance testing, which has been proven in practice.

Conference Paper     Conference Slides    (Adobe Acrobat format)

"Muzzling the Alligators" - A Pragmatic Approach to Quality

I wrote this paper for the 1993 Conference "Managing Software Quality in the 1990s". At the time I was working as Quality Manager at Eurotunnel, and becoming increasingly concerned that many ideas for changing the software production process did not meet the concerns of experienced practical software builders.

While some concerns can easily (and often correctly) be ascribed to laziness or good old-fashioned Ludd-ism, there is nonetheless a minefield of vested interests and inappropriate solutions. The paper described my approach at Eurotunnel based on recognising the real problems which constrain and motivate the developers, and offering practical aid in order to gain acceptance of the quality initiative.

Conference Paper     Conference Slides    (Adobe Acrobat format)

Evolution of a Test Method (for EuroSTAR '94, with Sue German)

The development of Eurotunnel's commercial information systems presented a number of unusual testing challenges:

Traditional testing methods didn't adequately address these problems, so it was necessary to develop a new test method which was practical, matched to the target environments and systems, and was realistic about what could be achieved. This presentation to EuroSTAR '94 describes the evolution of that test method.

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